Iowa Loose Meat Sandwiches
If you don’t think a steamed ground beef sandwich can be delicious, one bite of this simple, savory midwestern classic will quickly change your mind.
Why This Recipe Works
People from central Iowa know this sandwich (a simple affair of steamed ground beef topped with mustard, pickles, and onions, served on a soft hamburger bun) as a Maid-Rite, after the Maid-Rite chain that made it famous. To achieve the sandwich’s trademark loose, pebbled texture, we gently simmer 85 percent lean ground beef with water in a skillet until the beef is thoroughly cooked but not browned. We keep the flavors simple: just salt, pepper, mustard, and some sugar to enhance the beef’s subtle sweetness. Adding the onions to the beef just before serving allows them to soften slightly but still retain a crisp texture.